MOSCOW, May 15 (RIA Novosti) - Danish coast guards detained two Russian trawlers on Thursday, Russia's State Fisheries Committee said.
The first Russian vessel was detained on suspicion of poaching following an inspection by Danish border guards at the port of Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands.
The second trawler was also held on suspicion of poaching in the 200-mile Faroe economic zone. The ship, along with its crew, was taken to Torshavn.
The captains of both ships refused to accept the charges and filed protests with local authorities. However, they agreed to stay at the Danish port pending the investigation.
The ship owners also deny fishing in the Danish economic zone, citing discrepancies between Russian and Danish maps. They said that the Russian ships had been caught fishing in an area that has been unilaterally declared by Denmark as its economic zone.
"Russians, who rely on Russian maps, regard these territories as trans-boundary waters," a spokesman for the port of Murmansk, where both vessels are registered, said.
Both vessels are to stay in Denmark until the litigation is over.
Previously, detentions of Russian fishing vessels were frequent in a prime fishing area around the Arctic Ocean archipelago of Spitzbergen, which belongs to Norway. Russia does not recognize Norway's exclusive rights in the 200-mile economic zone near Spitzbergen.
Russia and Norway have been involved in a decades-long dispute over maritime boundaries in the Barents Sea, which is rich in oil and gas reserves, as well as fishing resources.
In late March, the head of Russia's fisheries committee, Andrei Krainiy, said two ships would be sent to protect Russian trawlers from being seized by Norway's coast guards.